Kerry County Council (KCC) has launched its second Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). This new plan, which is part of the Kerry County Development Plan (KCDP), will be in effect from 2022 to 2028.
The significance of this BAP cannot be understated, as it aligns with international, European, and national efforts to address the challenges posed by climate change and biodiversity loss. Under the Sustainable Energy Assessment (SEA) and Habitats Directive, which includes climate-proofing of policies, the BAP recognises the pivotal role of biodiversity in meeting climate change challenges. It is instrumental in achieving the "national 2050 climate objective" set out in the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act of 2021.
On the global stage, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) urged signatory parties, including Ireland, to develop and implement effective national biodiversity strategies and action plans. Ireland responded with its third National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP) in 2017, which runs until 2021 and is currently under review.
At the European level, the European Green Deal, adopted in 2019, serves as a driving force for economic, social, and environmental policies within member states until 2050. It seeks to address both biodiversity loss and climate change through strategies like the "EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030" and "From Farm to Fork."
This European policy will have significant implications for Ireland's national policies, particularly in sectors such as agriculture and land use. Ireland's National Planning Framework, published in 2019, prioritises biodiversity and climate action in its future physical development plans.
The Kerry BAP is a crucial local response to these broader environmental initiatives. It aligns with the NBAP's objective of encouraging regional and local BAPs to be developed, reflecting Kerry County Council's commitment to biodiversity and climate action.
In the coming years, Kerry County Council's Biodiversity Action Plan will play an essential role in preserving and enhancing the natural environment in the region, in harmony with national and international efforts. It is a testament to the dedication of Kerry County Council to safeguarding our planet for future generations.